Date of Award

Fall 2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice

Committee Chair

Dr. Carolyn Coleman

Committee Chair School

Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice

Committee Member 2

Dr. Lakenya Forthner

Committee Member 2 School

Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice

Committee Member 3

Dr. Debra Copeland


Hospice care is a comprehensive group of services provided to patients who have been determined to have six months or less to live. Data suggests that hospice services in the United States are underutilized, and referrals are made too late for patients to reap the full benefits of services (Mulville et al., 2018). Additionally, Mississippi is among the lowest-ranked states for hospice services (Centers of Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS], 2019). Many barriers exist that impede patients from receiving timely hospice referrals; however, the primary focus of this research project is nurse practitioners’ attitudes and knowledge toward hospice care and referrals.

The purpose of this project was to develop an evidence-based educational module about hospice and hospice referrals to improve nurse practitioners’ attitudes and knowledge. A survey was distributed to nurse practitioners in Mississippi through the Mississippi Association of Nurse Practitioners social media over 3 weeks. The survey had 3 sections: a pretest, an educational module, and a post-test. The pretest was utilized to gather demographic data and baseline knowledge and attitudes. The educational module contained evidence-based information about hospice and hospice referrals. The posttest immediately followed the educational module. The results of the pre-test and post-test were analyzed using descriptive and quantitative statistics.

Results of the survey demonstrated improvement in attitudes and knowledge towards hospice referrals after the educational intervention. A comparison of the mean scores for each question was completed and showed improvement in all questions that analyzed attitudes. After completion of the educational module, all participants agreed that the intervention was useful and will impact future practice when initiating hospice discussions.